Research Team Sets Out For Islands of Four Mountains

Tuesday, July 29 2014

The Islands of the Four Mountains as seen from the International Space Station in 2013. Cleveland Volcano is at center. /Courtesy: NASA

A group of researchers left Unalaska this past weekend for a remote part of the central Aleutians: the Islands of the Four Mountains.

The 16 scientists are beginning a three-year mission in territory that’s unpredictable -- and largely unexplored.

Weather was clear and sunny in Dutch Harbor on Saturday while the research team loaded up their charter vessel with food and supplies.

Saltchuk Creates APU Scholarship Program

Monday, July 28 2014

Saltchuk Alaska has given $150,000 in scholarship funds to Alaska Pacific University. The award is aimed in part at introducing students to industry jobs at Saltchuk companies.

Students in communities where Saltchuk runs its fuel and transportation businesses get priority for the scholarship. Recipients will be mentored and do job-shadowing at one of those businesses, too.

Alaska Pacific will give out the scholarships this fall and next spring. Students have to have at least a 3.0 GPA and can be enrolled in any field of study to qualify.

Marine Advisory Program Returns to Unalaska

Monday, July 28 2014

For almost a year, Unalaska’s been missing out on an important educational resource: a marine advisory program agent.

Tight budgets meant the University of Alaska Fairbanks couldn’t afford to fill the MAP position -- until now. 

UAF’s Sea Grant program, which oversees MAP offices across the state, has found money to hire a new person for an abridged version of the old job.

Regulators Gauge Potential for Beaufort Lease Sale

Friday, July 25 2014

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is testing the waters on a possible new lease sale in the Alaskan Arctic.

Summer Traditions Find Way Around Construction

Friday, July 25 2014

Unalaska’s annual half-marathon and Camp Qungaayux are back on track, despite construction in Summer Bay.

Northern Alaska Contractors is building a new bridge over the salmon stream in Summer Bay. It’s closed to the public right now, but workers have put up a temporary footbridge.

The Bobby Johnson Summer Bay Classic is PCR’s half-marathon, and the racecourse is supposed to cross that spot. After weeks of uncertainty, PCR recreation manager Ben Bolock says they got permission Friday to run the race as planned.

Man Found Safe After Search in Captain's Bay

Thursday, July 24 2014

Fire and harbor officers took the Tide Breaker to search for the missing man. /Credit: Robert Willis

A local fisherman is safe after he left his fish camp and prompted a search effort in Captain’s Bay late Wednesday night.

Deputy police chief Mike Holman says public safety got a call around 1:30 a.m. Thursday from a man at a fish camp on the far western shore of the bay. The man said a friend at the camp had been drinking, and had taken a skiff and gone out on the water.

"They’d tried to stop him, but he left," Holman says. "And a few minutes after he left, they heard yelling -- they believed, somebody yelling for help."

Bridge Work Will Force PCR to Reroute Summer Bay Classic

Wednesday, July 23 2014

A sign near the beach parking area lets drivers know that Summer Bay Bridge is closed to traffic. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

Construction on the new bridge in Summer Bay is having an unexpected impact on an Unalaska tradition.

The Bobby Johnson Summer Bay Classic is an annual half marathon. The race usually goes across the pass and over the Summer Bay bridge -- which is under construction.

Public works director Tom Cohenour says the footbridge that contractors have installed on-site will not be available for the race Aug. 23.

"They installed that temporary bridge for their use only," Cohenour says.

City Council Rejects Proposed Zoning Changes

Wednesday, July 23 2014

The city will go back to the drawing board on new regulations for subdivisions and construction camps after council voted down a set of proposed changes last night.

The vote was five to zero against revisions to city zoning code that have been in the works for months.

The ordinance covered five separate parts of Title 8 – but councilors and citizens who testified focused on two: new rules for subdivisions, and construction camps.

Planning staff say the new subdivision rules would reinforce existing laws, making sure future lease lots are up to code.

Season Winds Down for Aleutian Herring Fleet

Tuesday, July 22 2014

Courtesy of ADF&G

There's still fish in the water, but seiners are done harvesting herring in the Aleutian Islands.

The purse seine fleet picked up their last load of herring on Saturday night north of Akutan. Fish & Game biologist Nathaniel Nichols says that leaves about 160 tons of herring on the table out of the 1,805 tons up for harvest this season.

"The processors decided they had enough before we got to the allocation, so they quit fishing," says Nichols.

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